Basic Fire Safety Reminders During Your Hotel Stay

The casualties and the injured in the recent Resorts World Manila incident included hotel guests as the lone gunman set on fire parts of the Resort leading to the suffocation of guests (including employees) as they panicked and tried to exit the building. Others also died during the ensuing stampede.

The main cause of the deaths was suffocation which reminds us how important it is to know what to do should a fire happen in the place you are staying. Here are some basic fire safety reminders:

    • After checking in, know the fire exits and the shortest way to get there. I often travel alone due to work so perhaps I have always been conscious of this. Hotels and pension houses usually provide information about this within your room. Read it right after you get into your room. Check the hallway outside your room to give you an idea which direction you should head to in the event of an emergency.
    • Make sure you place your important travel documents in a place where you can easily find them. Make it easy for yourself to find and grab your passports, IDs and travel tickets should you need to immediately evacuate the place.
    • In the event of fire, do not hide in the bathroom.  I have read of many fire incidents in houses and even in the Resorts World incident were some people chose to hide in the bathroom and perished. Some people think that because there is water in the bathroom, they can be saved from the fire or from the suffocating smoke. This is not true. The fire and smoke will still find you there.
    • Cover your nose with wet cloth or towel when fleeing the fire and smoke.  This is to protect yourself from suffocation, from passing out because of the smoke. You can also cover yourself with a wet blanket or towel as protection from the fire when you flee the scene.
      IMPORTANT: According to the National Fire Protection Association, a global nonprofit organization: most fire deaths are not caused by burns, but by smoke inhalation. Smoke is itself made up of lethal components.

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  • Keep your head low or crawl when you leave your room. Smoke goes up so you have more chances being suffocated if you leave the place in a standing or upright position.
  • Contact your friends or family once you are out of the building. My own take is to only call or message them once you are already safely outside. Let them know where you are and your current situation.
  • If you have the number of the fire department or police, you can also initiate calling them. It is a sad possibility that some hotel personnel may not be as prepared in incidents like this and it will be for your good as well as that of the other guests and even employees, if you do your part in asking for help. Do this once you are out of the building.

As you may have noticed, some of these tips need to be done before a fire has even occurred. These will help ensure that you won’t panic once a fire does occur. Above all, remember to pray. I always do so right before I go to sleep.

If you have other fire safety tips, do share them in the comments section below.

Seven Unmissable Experiences in Argentina

Argentina is a destination that’s growing in popularity, not only for tourists but increasingly for students on gap years.  It’s the second largest country (by area) in South America, and it features a wide range of landscapes, from beautiful waterfalls and cosmopolitan cities through to unspoilt forests and laid back beaches.

If you want to backpack through Argentina as part of your gap year, here are seven of Argentina’s “must see” sights:

  1. Iguazu Falls:

A stunning natural feat that many feel is more beautiful and spectacular than the better known Niagara Falls. Yet whatever you think, there’s no doubt that these waterfalls are an impressive site, and if you visit the Argentine side of the Iguazu falls you can walk all the way up to the “Devil’s Throat” at the heart of the falls.  If you’re a nature lover, this is a must see sight.

  1. Mendoza Wine Tours:

Mendoza is located in the Napa Valley of Argentina.  There are a lot of things to see and do in the area.  If you’re the adventurous type you could go white water rafting or paragliding.  History lovers could pay a visit to the Inca Bridge.  Everyone should take a wine tour, though – even if you don’t like wine; it’s a great chance to see a bit of the region, try some new tastes, and learn a little about the place you’re visiting.

  1. Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires was once known as the “Paris of the South”.  While it might not be so glamorous today, it’s a great stopping off point for student backpackers that no trip to Argentina would be complete without.  The city is a true melting pot of cultures, and features some great night life, amazing restaurants, and a friendly culture.  If you’re not a fan of traditional night clubs, you may still enjoy paying a visit to one of the many tango clubs in the city.

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  1. The Andes Mountains

Not only are the Andes Mountains a breath-taking site, but they’re great fun for anyone who enjoys climbing or hiking.  There are lots of guided tours on offer, with routes to suit all fitness levels.  Take a camera; the views of the mountains and the glaciers are amazing.

  1. Patagonia

Head to the coast and you’ll get to walk amongst the penguins and play with the sea lions.  Large parts of the coast are relatively untouched, so if you’re going for a long walk be sure to bring plenty to drink – getting dehydrated miles from the nearest store is not a pleasant experience!

  1. Recoleta Cemetary

For a spooky (and free) experience, head to the Recoleta Cemetary, where each corpse is housed in an elaborate neo-classical mausoleum.  There are several famous citizens to look at, including cultural icon Eva Peron.

  1. Eat Like a Gaucho

Pay a visit to La Cholita in Buenos Aires and enjoy a true gaucho style meal which includes steak, ribs, chicken, sausage, and more.  If you’re a vegetarian, you can find meat free Empanadas at La Gauchita.  Eating out is surprisingly inexpensive in Argentina.

About the author:
Jon Platy works for Principal Homebuyers who offers services including assistance in the selling of your home if you decide to relocate or move abroad. 

Exploring Food in NZ

Our travel to New Zealand during the last quarter of 2016 allowed us to sample food regularly served on the Kiwi (New Zealander) table.

I have often been told by Kiwi friends that Fish and Chips is the standard favorite among Kiwis. And so as we took our late lunch shortly after our plane landed in Auckland, I was eager to order Fish and Chips. We had lunch at Szimpla Gastro Bar which was just beside Ibis Budget Hotel where we stayed in Auckland.

This is how my meal looked like 🙂 Plenty of chips and fish slices in there. And if you’re wondering if it’s really a newspaper on which it was served on, you’re right 🙂 That’s how they served it there.

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Our host for lunch was my former boss while I was still working in Cebu, Cherry. She now resides in Auckland with her whole family.

While we were in Hamilton, we had one Sunday lunch together with the rest of our travelling group from the Philippines upon invitation by a fellow Filipino now based there. We ate a Turkish-Mediterranean restaurant: Sultan’s Kitchen. My meal was a variation of the Fish and Chips. Note that the fish here is not fried unlike the usual Fish and Chips but was steamed instead 🙂

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The last stop of our trip before going back to the Philippines was in Christchurch. My cousin welcomed my husband and me there and hosted our stay. While we were there, Jaireh made sure that we tasted the country’s unique ice cream flavor (with a cool name, too!).

Here’s our Hokey Pokey ice cream for the night 🙂
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Are you hungry yet? Hmmm. Wait. I think I’m ready for some scoop of ice cream. Excuse me. Getting my ice cream now 🙂

  • How We Got There: 
  • We flew round trip via Thai Airways from Manila to Bangkok and then Bangkok to Auckland. We booked online and got good fares. We also got to choose our seats round trip and also the food served to us during the flights when we did the booking.
  • We were picked up in Auckland by our Hamilton host and we traveled by land going to Hamilton. Private land travel from Auckland to Hamilton is about an hour and a half.
  • To go to Christchurch, we went back to Auckland and took a flight to Christchurch. We flew via Jet Star. Flight time is about one hour and 45 minutes. Hamilton is located in the North Island of New Zealand while Christchurch is in the South Island. It is advisable to book early to get good fares for domestic flights (the same with that of the international flights).